The Winners: Seven News topped the list with 1.975 million, close to its highest ever non-Olympics news audience. Dancing with the Stars was next with 1.168 million people and Night at the Museum at 7.30pm averaged a large 1.524 million for Ten. Nine News was 4th with 1.408 million (568,000 behind Seven). Ten’s Merlin at 6.30pm averaged 1.407 million for its season finale and Seven’s Bones averaged 1.166 million at 8.30pm. Nine’s Random Acts of Kindness at 6.30pm was 7th and the last program with a million viewers or more with 1.151 million. 60 Minutes averaged 979,000 (see below).

The Losers: Nine’s movie Oceans 13 from 8.30pm, 746,000. It was boring at the cinema and nothing last night changed that. The contrast with the 1.5 million or more who watched Night At The Museum on Ten was quite amazing.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market with AFL games in Melbourne and Adelaide boosting audience figures. Seven News in Brisbane averaged 413,000, proportionately the single biggest audience in any market. It was close to the largest ever audience for Seven News in Brisbane. Ten News, 684,000, the 7pm ABC News, 895,000. SBS News at 6.30 pm, 224,000, Dateline at 8.30pm, 173,000. In the morning, Weekend Sunrise, 420,000, Landline on the ABC at Noon, 236,000, Today on Sunday, 233,000. Insiders on the ABC at 9am, 218,000, Inside Business at 10am, 183,000, Offsiders, 174,000. Meet The Press on Ten at 8am, 55,000.

The Stats: Ten won 6pm to midnight All People with 29.8% (41.3% for the final of MasterChef). Ten also won the main demos, 16 to 39, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54s. Seven was a narrow second with 29.7% (21.9%) from Nine with 21.3% (17.6%), the ABC with 13.7% (11.6%), and SBS with 5.6% (7.8%). Ten won Sydney, and Perth. Seven won Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. In regional areas a win to Nine through WIN/NBN with 27.0% from Prime/7Qld with 26.7% and Southern Cross (Ten) with 26.1%, the ABC with 14.4% and SBS with 5.8%. that was one of the closest nights for some time in regional areas.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven won last week, from Ten with Nine third, for the 4th week in the last six. After last night, Nine is heading for another third placing, unless it can find some programming to generate a lift in viewers and overtake Ten. Nine has two bombs: Dance Your Ass Off and Australia’s Perfect Couple. It had earlier pulled Trouble in Paradise from the 8.30pm slot on Thursday nights and replaced it with 20 to 1.

And there’s a story doing the rounds of TV land that Nine has been pressing Screentime to get Underbelly 3 up for later this year, but that is proving extremely hard and the series now looks like starting in 2010 for Nine.

60 Minutes had its second week in a row with an audience under 1 million viewers, which is probably the first time that has happened in living memory. Last week the strength of MasterChef and Dancing With the Stars on Ten and Seven was the reason; last night it was Dancing With The Stars and the movie on Ten, Night at The Museum which got the highest audience for a movie on TV this year. The ABC’s doco, Cassowaries at 7.30pm got to within 60,000 viewers of 60 Minutes last night. Cassowaries are facing the danger of dying out, just like 60 Minutes is if it doesn’t lift its game and do stories that aren’t full of air and puffery.

With Merlin ending last night on Ten and Ten showing two movies from 6.30pm next Sunday, 60 Minutes has the chance to lift audience numbers. Helping will be Nine’s debuting of its new drama Rescue Special Ops at 8.30pm it’s a sort of Sea Patrol with ropes (or a later version of Rescue from the ABC years ago). Seven has dropped Medical Emergency into 8pm as a sort of spoiler and runs a fresh episode of Bones at 8.30pm. The Third cricket Test though will complicate matters, if Australia is doing well (please!). The cricket starts at 8pm. It could be a very busy Sunday night for viewers.

TONIGHT: Four Corners on the Indian education rip-offs, Media Watch and Australian Story are the highlights from the ABC. Ten returns Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader to 7.30pm, with some high profile guests this time. Seven has Desperate Housewives at 8.30pm. And perhaps Scrubs at 8pm. SBS has Top Gear. Nine has the final episode of Sea Patrol. It was supposed to finish next Monday night, but Nine changed its mind and wasted a fresh episode last week. It didn’t help Nine over the week one bit. Silly programming. Apart from that, nothing else on Nine.

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks reports